What Does It Mean To Be In An Exclusive Relationship?

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated June 22, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Karen Devlin, LPC

An exclusive relationship means you and your partner are not dating other people. Each partner agrees they are on the same page by communicating what their relationship status means to them. You cease dating activity with others to focus on building a relationship with one person. There are activities you did while dating; you should no longer be doing, such as using dating apps or sending messages to many others you dated. You and your partner establish boundaries or guidelines to define the meaning of being exclusive.

Are We Dating Or In A Relationship: Where Do We Stand?

Exclusivity Could Have Different Meanings For Each Person
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When you’ve been dating for a while, you may have questions about where things are going. You like spending time with this person, and your feelings for them continue to grow. The time you’ve spent together has been great, and you want to keep it going, but you want to keep things between the two of you. Meaning you’re not interested in dating others. Sometimes it is a challenge to bring this up with the person you’re dating. You don’t want to pressure them, but you feel like you’re in limbo. You want to know if there is the meaning behind the time you’ve spent together.

Dating can lead to a relationship, but there is a time between dating and an unclear relationship. Usually, one person feels likes things should be excluded because they developed deep feelings for the other. When you want to know where you stand, it means examining whether you and your partner are ready to be exclusive. You determine how meaningful your time with each other has been. You both reach an agreement that neither person is pursuing other people. To achieve this understanding, it is essential to discuss your feelings for each other to learn where you stand. Each person should understand the meaning of an exclusive relationship so both people are on the same page.

Why Having The Conversation Is Important

While dating is a good thing, it is common for people to wonder about defining their relationship. Some think if they are in a relationship, it adds pressure to be romantic or pushed into a relationship. Talking about your current status gives clarity on where you stand. Starting the conversation shows bravery, and you’ll learn what you need to know so you can move forward.

How do you know you’re ready to talk? After dating for a few weeks or months, it’s a good time to bring up the topic. If you’ve been on two or three dates, be patient and give it some time. Dating lets you get to know each other, but if you develop deep feelings after getting to know each other, there may be potential to take things to the next step. Other signs, such as acting like a couple, referring to them as your girlfriend or boyfriend by accident, or you’ve met each other’s friends or family, may signal you’re ready for the talk. Once you’re at this point, determine the place and time to start the conversation.

The conversation is significant because it may determine how things will change for both of you. You should feel comfortable being open about your feelings and the time spent together. Try to relax, and remember, they may not be on the same page. As you think about how you want to start the conversation, think about starting with a question. Be casual and ask something like, “Do you think we should stop dating other people,” or “What are you looking for these days?”

Asking a question sets the tone for the conversation. You’ll learn insight into each other that shows if both people will invest the same effort in the relationship. It’s a starting block building the communication that’s necessary for relationships. Be open to what they have to say, and respect their decision if they don’t want a relationship at this time. Suppose they express interest in exclusively discussing boundaries for the relationship. Some may skip the conversation and assume they are exclusive. Doing this may lead to confusion or being hurt later. You can avoid this by verbally confirming your status.

Signs Your Relationship Is Exclusive

Maybe you’ve been seeing someone for a couple of months but haven’t talked about your relationship or defined it as exclusive. Some have intentions, while others are subtle about what they want. Sometimes a person goes with the flow without acknowledging they want to be exclusive. In situations like this, people’s actions vary, and it helps to know what to look for that may indicate you’re exclusive or that things are headed in that direction. Here are some indicators of an exclusive relationship.

You Met Their Family And Friends. On separate occasions, you’ve met with people considered close to your partner and vice versa. You may have met their co-worker or attended an event or outing with other people present. The person you’re with is proud to introduce you to others, and you feel the same.

You’re Included In Plans. The person you’re with may say “we” when talking about things they want to do in the future. Making plans, taking a vacation, or booking tickets in advance hints they are thinking about you or assume you’ll be a part of their plans.

You Get Labeled As Being A Girlfriend Or Boyfriend. Some believe females like using labels more than males. If the person you’re with happens to refer to you as their boyfriend or girlfriend, it may mean you are in a relationship. If you refer to them with a label and express uncertainty, they are not ready for a relationship yet.

You No Longer Need To Maintain Onan line Dating Profile. When you’ve found someone you want to spend more time with, chances are you’re ready to be in a relationship. You won’t need to check for messages or review profiles of others. You may feel relieved or happy you don’t have to conduct online searches for the time being. You look forward to seeing more of the person you’ve been dating.

You Get Together Regularly. Fridays or Saturdays may have been designated date nights at one point, but now you’re steady seeing each other every weekend. Someone who is dating others may leave a weekend open. When you are eager to spend time with someone, you look forward to making time for each other. Spending time together regularly shows you are their one and only.

You Told Each Other, “I Love You.” If you’ve been together for a while and see each other several days a week, it may not be a surprise when someone says, “I love you.” Maybe you’ve spent nights curled on the couch together, and you felt comfortable when they show intimacy. Usually, when love is spoken, the person means it. An exclusive relationship has this, and it shows meaning.

You Include Each Other In Plans. When someone is in an exclusive relationship, they may see you as someone they want to make long-term plans with, such as living together or marriage. They may let you know in a subtle way that they don’t see things being temporary. The level of commitment becomes significant in exclusive relationships.

Your Social Media Pages Include Photos Featuring Both Of You. When a person is proud to be with someone, they have no problem letting others know through social media. Sharing pictures of you lets others know you’re a proud couple.

You And Your Partner Show Affection In Public. Showing affection such as holding hands around others, especially people close to you, such as family and friends, is a definite sign that tells the world you’re off the market.

Exclusivity Could Have Different Meanings For Each Person

You Look After Them When They Are Sick Or Vice Versa. Things are great when you feel good, but you feel sad when your partner is under the weather. You choose to bring flowers, soup, or medicine. You are willing to do whatever is necessary to help them be comfortable so they can feel better. When you’re not feeling well, they do the same and would rather be with you instead of hanging out with friends. Many say a person like this is a keeper.

You’re Trusted With Something Personal. For example, some exchange keys to their homes. If they give you a key to their home, it may signal you have the key to their hearts. Whether you’re trusted with personal belongings or personal thoughts and feelings, it shows the person you are with thinks highly of you. It is a pretty clear sign that your relationship could be viewed as exclusive.

What To Do When Unsure

Talking about your feelings is essential to determine the status of your relationship. It is common for someone to wonder about how to define their relationship and the significance of being exclusive. While talking with the person you see about your thoughts is significant, you don’t have to figure out how to achieve this alone. Learn from a professional standpoint on hoassessingour relationship by discussing your situation with a couples’ counselor. Gain in-depth knowledge about what an exclusive relationship means and how your thoughts and feelings relate to your situation.

An exclusive relationship involves being focused on one person after an extended period of dating. It includes assessing each other’s expectations and communicating boundaries. It is important to talk about your relationship to learn the meaning behind the time you’ve spent together. When there is no longer an interest to date others, and you look forward to spending more time with the one you’re with, an exclusive relationship is on the horizon.

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